Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

The Red Carpet

My name is Sigmund Shonholtz I am a non-spiritual coincidentalist and S.E.E. "Irony is Destiny" in my world. I have been studying the phenomenon of coincidence since I was 17 years old after having an unusual event. It was 1971, I was driving home down Wilshire Blvd and I noticed a sign for a real estate company, Red Carpet Realitors, it read. I did not think the metaphore of a red carpet was a very good idea for a real estate agency. Ridiculously, I began to wonder what would be a better use for a red carpet for the name of a business.

Matching PIN code

Apart from my credit cards PINs, I have two PIN codes to remember at all times: My work's bike garage lock number, and my son's nursery entry code. Well, actually the same 4 digit PIN number!

Ward Buddies!

My husband was born with a hair lip and had to have numerous operations to rectify this during his childhood. During one of these stays in hospital for him a young 8 year old girl was having her tonsils out and staying in the same mixed children’s ward. I used to have to walk passed his bed to get to the bathroom. It was only years after meeting that we got talking about our stays in hospital as children that we discovered we were in there at the same time, sharing the same ward!

Same birthday and name

While working on my high school reunion committee, an aunt passed away. One of the classmates on my contact list called me to ask if that was my aunt. I told her yes, and she related that we shared the same Gt. Grandfather. She was researching that genealogy line as was I so we got together to work on it. We had gone through high school together but were only acquaintances and did not know we were related. Over lunch at our first meeting, we learned that our first borns were named Leslie and that they were both born on the same date but a few years apart.

family deaths on Oct 13

My parents first child died on Oct 13. My father died on Oct 13. The Hospice nurse had pronounced Dad around 2:00 pm on Oct 12, but then he drew another breath and made it to Oct. 13 around 1:00 a.m. One year to the day later, my sister died on Oct. 13.

great minds think alike

I went rock climbing with a friend last Saturday. The weird thing is that neither of us knew that the other one was going. We didn't even know that the other was into climbing. We independently picked the same instructor, who isn't based in our home city, and ended up going on the same day out of a choice of five. We were the only ones with him that day too.

I dream of Jeannie

I teach computers voluntarily in the local library system.

Life's full of them

I seem to collect coincidences in addition to the two already posted. On a London bus I sat next to a girl who turned out to be the sister of my roommate at University 12 years previously.

The name game

When I was 15 I met my first boyfriend, Paul. We parted four years later while both at different universities. I moved to London in 1969, knowing nothing of Paul since 1962. I married, he married and that was that until 1979 when I got a call out of the blue from Paul. Now he didn't know my married name and didn't know where I was in the UK. But when he became CEO of a company in Zug, Switzerland, he often came to meetings in the UK. On the off-chance, during one visit he looked up my maiden name, V. Valentine, in the telephone directory.


Born in Oak Park, Illinois, I moved to England in 1969. I decided to visit Hampton Court via the then Green Line coaches. There was always a queue, but this time I began chatting to the girl behind me. Having established that she was also American and also from Oak Park, she suddenly said 'your name is Valerie and your mother is Lillian.